Beers, Steers and Volunteers
Thanks, Mr. Newall. I appreciate the hard work that you put into creating this piece [Cover Story, "I Was an Obama Volunteer," Mike Newall, April 17, 2008]. I am a 24-year-old precinct captain for the Obama campaign in Austin, Texas, so I understand your apprehension about Tuesday's results. However, I have one clarification: The Texas organizers don't feel defeated because our efforts in the caucus guaranteed Obama a win in the delegate total for Texas.
Well done. A great look from the inside [Cover, "I Was a Clinton Volunteer," Tom Namako, April 17, 2008]. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
I'm from Ohio and wish an Ohio paper had done what you folks did [Editor's Letter, "In an Honest Way," April 17, 2008]. This was very interesting. Thanks for having the courage to do it.
I'm still trying to figure out how a team that is two games below .500 going into the playoffs (which is a crime in itself) is better off without Iverson [News, "Better Experts Needed," E. James Beale, April 17, 2008]. When Allen Iverson led almost that exact same team to a better record and the playoffs the season before he departed, all people did was complain about the guy. Now people are acting as if the Sixers are some Cinderella story? I don't like how that works. Maybe if some of those guys on that team would have put in half the effort they are putting in now Iverson wouldn't be gone. Or better yet, maybe if they would have made the proper trades and signings to surround and complement Iverson he wouldn't have complained. Geez, give me a break. The Sixers are two games under .500 and going to the playoffs. That's hardly anything to call home about.
Your cover story "Ruh-Roh?" [J.F. Pirro, April 10, 2008] would come as a big surprise to Ardy. She's the mutt who shares my office here at the Humane Society of the United States. For that matter, your bizarre quote from John Yates would raise howls throughout our headquarters. Yates asserts that the goal of the HSUS is "the elimination of all animal ownership." So how about it Cookie, do you feel threatened when you walk into headquarters here? Murphy? Pepper? Berg? All the rest of you?
In truth, Mr. Yates has made a mess right in the middle of your cover story. Quick, hand him a plastic bag and have him clean up. Or better, have him send us an apology.
At the Humane Society of the United States we are all-out crazy about pets. In a thousand ways we work to make life better for them. We rejoice in the fact that there are pets in two-thirds of American households. Wonderful, isn't it? As I write this note, I reach into my pocket: one set of keys, a wallet, my cell phone and three dog biscuits — you never know who you might pass in the hallway.
What we oppose is the indiscriminate overbreeding of dogs in filthy, stacked cages at cruel puppy mills, where animals are regarded as a cash crop and are denied the very thing they crave the most, our love.
John Balzar, Humane Society of the United States
CP responds: Thanks for your letter, Mr. Balzar. It was funny and well-written. It suggests some confusion, however, about our responsibilities as journalists. An analogy: You know how at the Humane Society you are supposed to rescue ALL the animals, not just the cute ones? You're also supposed to rescue the ugly ones and the smelly ones? Well, investigative reporting is kind of like that. When we write a story about a controversial subject, we have to talk to ALL the people involved in the story, even the ones that PETA and the Humane Society don't like. Maybe we're not so different after all!